Sewage spillages angering residents

RESIDENTS furious about raw sewage pouring onto a footpath close to a primary school yesterday demanded action to sort the problem out.They are fed up with the stench and have health and environmental concerns about the sewage, which flows from a manhole in Ann Suckling Lane, Haverhill, after heavy rain.

By James Mortlock

RESIDENTS furious about raw sewage pouring onto a footpath close to a primary school yesterday demanded action to sort the problem out.

They are fed up with the stench and have health and environmental concerns about the sewage, which flows from a manhole in Ann Suckling Lane, Haverhill, after heavy rain.

They met up with Anglian Water bosses yesterday in a bid to have the "unacceptable" problem solved and were promised prompt action.


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Brian Beavis, who lives nearby, said the latest incident happened two weeks ago and was only cleaned up on Thursday. "It seems strange the sewage laid there for two weeks but has been cleared ahead of this meeting," he added.

He said the sewage problem was serious. "This happens every time we have a heavy rain and it's not very nice at all. To have to walk through that is disgusting for anyone but it is very close to the New Cangle Primary School and children and their parents have to walk through it.

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"It's not very nice at all and we want to see it sorted out."

Alan Smith, a St Edmundsbury Borough Council member for Haverhill, said sewage had been flowing from the manhole following heavy rain for around two years and although Anglian Water had installed a heavy cover to replace the lightweight one in place originally, the problem was still causing great concern.

"The manhole cover still lifts and the sewage comes out and it seems to run towards the brook which runs through Haverhill. It seems rainwater is getting into the sewage system and it's pretty awful when it happens.

"If sorting this out means Anglian Water shareholders have a bit less money then so be it but it must be sorted out. We want the system to work properly."

He said there were also concerns that 1,300 new homes being built in the area would worsen the problem.

Lynda Beale, headteacher at the school, called on Anglian Water to solve the problem. "It has been an ongoing problem for a couple of years and it is unpleasant and quite unhealthy. It is close to the school and it's near a path which children use to get to school," she said.

Haverhill MP Richard Spring, who was at the meeting, said he could understand why residents and local councillors were up in arms.

"I was appalled when I learned of this problem. I am extremely anxious to have these sewage leakages stopped as soon as possible."

Ramani Vaheesan, of Anglian Water, said: "We clearly are concerned about the situation and want to resolve it as quickly as possible. The long-term plan is to get engineers to carry out a structural survey and work out the best way of solving this on a permanent basis.

"The purpose of this meeting was to talk to residents and local councillors about whether there is anything we can do in the short-term. Hopefully it will mean we can find the best way forward."

She was unable to comment on the claims that the most recent incident had only been cleared up this week.

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